Libyan rebels pledge free and fair election

LONDON Tue Mar 29, 2011 5:51pm IST

Rebel fighter returns fire after forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi attacked them near Bin Jawad in eastern Libya, March 29, 2011. REUTERS/Finbarr O'Reilly

Rebel fighter returns fire after forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi attacked them near Bin Jawad in eastern Libya, March 29, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Finbarr O'Reilly

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LONDON (Reuters) - Libya's rebel interim National Council said on Tuesday it would hold free and fair elections to ensure a transition to democracy if leader Muammar Gaddafi were forced from power.

The council, based in the rebel-held eastern city of Benghazi, said it aspired to create a "modern, free and united state" in a statement issued ahead of a meeting of foreign ministers in London to discuss the future of Libya.

The eight-point statement said the oil-producing north African nation's economy would be used for the benefit of all Libyans.

It also said it would draft a national constitution that would allow the formation of political parties and trades unions.

Its commitments included one to "Guarantee every Libyan citizen, of statutory age, the right to vote in free and fair parliamentary elections and presidential elections, as well as the right to run for office."

Council leader Mahmoud Jebril was meeting British Prime Minister David Cameron in London ahead of the conference.

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